I often “steal” inspiration for my stories from art museums. Portraits open their mouths and become characters. Landscapes and interiors become settings. Genre scenes generate plot ideas.
I first “met” Cecil Deets, the antagonist in CROSSING THE TRACKS, in this painting by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham.
The beaded hand silhouettes on an Osage Indian friendship blanket became Leroy’s hands-on love letter to Iris.
I understood the layers of pain in Mrs. Nesbitt’s life by studying “Sonata” by the American Impressionist, Childe Hassam…
…and also Thomas Eakins’s ravishing scene of his sister’s shadowed, grief-stricken face, contrasting her brilliant crimson sash.
For art classes (all ages)
We explore the many parallels between composing a novel and composing a painting and how to use the visual arts to inspire the written word.
Contact me if your group would like to take my “Novel Art Tour” either in-person in Kansas City or virtually using slides. One hour.
I highly recommend a trip to your local art museum on any day of the year if you seek inspiration or simply a reminder of the worlds that exist inside every one of us.
My current favorite artwork in the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City is Isamu Noguchi’s Six-Foot Energy Void. By magic he has sculpted a silky stone corral around infinity.